|Buffalo Pound/Moose Jaw|
The image most people have of the prairie is largely misconceived, but in the southern part of Saskatchewan it is as flat and featureless as rumoured. Any relief from this openness usually becomes a tourist destination. The billiard table flatness is broken by the Qu'Appelle Valley. The valley and its numerous parks, lakes and beaches offer a welcome change to a tourist. Buffalo Pound Provincial Parks is about 30 km. North of Moose Jaw. It has sites for both tents and trailers. The park gets its name from the past when the local Indian tribes drove herds of buffalo over the valley wall to their death on the rocks below. There are many recreational activities and amenities within the park. A visitor can swim, fish play sports, horseback ride, and hike on nature trails. Once you have exhausted the parks resources, then embark on one of our tours through the neighbouring country side.
The River That Bends Like the Moose's Jaw (60 km. Return)
Leave Buffalo Pound Park on Hwy. 202 west, which is a narrow, smooth road with unmarked shoulders. About 5km. Out of the park there is a small Anglican church, 6 km. From the church is the junction with Hwy. 2. Go south on Hwy. 2 and the terrain remains relatively flat until just before Moose Jaw, where the road slopes down toward the city and Moose Jaw Creek.
Highway 2 becomes Main Street and it will bring you right into the heart of the city. Stop at the Moose Jaw branch of the Western Development Museum - the huge building features fascinating displays on the history of Saskatchewan transportation; planes, boats, trains, cars, snowmobiles...the list goes on. Continuing into Moose Jaw along Main Street, you will enter the commercial core of the city. Off Main Street, at Athabasca St. E. Is Crescent Park, which is home to the Public Library, tennis courts, band shell, pool, sports complex, Moose Jaw Art Museum, and National Exhibition Centre all linked by quite gardens and a small lake. Another area of interest is the Wakamow Valley Park which is located along River Drive. A left turn off Second Ave. NE. Beside the river will lead to a shaded picnic area and camping facilities.
On the southern edge of the city, following 7th Ave. SW. You will find the Moose Jaw Wild Animal Park. The park is home to over 50 species of animals and birds from all over the province and the world. There is a small fee charged at the entrance to the park. To the south of the Wild Animal Park, the Canadian Forces Base, which is home to the Saskatchewan Air Show. Tours of the base may be arranged by calling ahead of time.
A ‘See-Worthy' Dream
Follow Hwy. 2 for 13 km. South of the city to find the Sukanen Ship, Pioneer Village and Museum. The museum houses old cars and farm machinery and there is also a small village. The village consists of two shacks, a school, a community hall, a fire hall , a barber shop, a general store, a smithy, and others. The now ship was built by a homesick pioneer who nurtured a dream of sailing out to Hudson's Bay and across the North Atlantic, to return in glory back home to his native Finland. He spent years building and planning but passed away before he had a chance to discover whether his boat was seaworthy.
You can either travel back to Buffalo Pound the way you came, or the other way is travel east on Hwy. 1 for five km. and then take Hwy. 301 for 23 km. Hwy. 1 has wide, paved and smooth shoulders over a terrain that is quite hilly at first. Hwy. 301 is steep initially as you leave the Moose Jaw Valley after which the land becomes flat. The road surface is paved but patchy in places and there is no shoulder. Hwy. 301 will lead you back to the entrance to Buffalo Pound Provincial Park.
The Birds and the Buffalo
Before leaving the valley park, make sure you visit the Bison Range and Nicolle Flats. Follow the well marked paved and gravelled road to the bison range about 8 km. outside of the park. At the Bison Range there is a lookout tower which will enable you to see the bison in their natural habitat. The small bison herd of today only gives you an idea of what the massive herds of yesteryear were like.
Out to Nicolle Flats
Nicolle Flats is located near the Bison Range. The Interpretive Are has several different walks which exhibit different areas of prairie marsh environment. Board walks and hikes enable the visitor to reach and view a wide variety of birds in their natural habitat. Near the marsh is Nicolle Homestead and Spring which has a thriving pelican colony.